Eire v Samoa – Irish great Brian O'Driscoll laments 'the enormous hit is long past'

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Heavy rains and strong winds hit Japan on Saturday as a powerful typhoon forecast as the worst in six decades approached landfall.

O’Driscoll was a TV pundit for Ireland’s 47-5 win over Samoa that confirmed Joe Schmidt’s team for the quarter-finals.

About Ireland
Ireland ( (listen); Irish: Éire [ˈeːɾʲə] (listen); Ulster-Scots: Airlann [ˈɑːrlən]) is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.Geopolitically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.The geography of Ireland comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. Its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate which is free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, and most of it is non-native conifer plantations. There are twenty-six extant land mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus very moderate, and winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant.
The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BCE (12,500 years ago). Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century CE. The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, and was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became increasingly sovereign over the following decades, and Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same.
Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language. The island’s culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, rugby, horse racing, and golf.

Ireland v Samoa: Irish great Brian O'Driscoll laments 'the big hit is gone'

About Samoa:

Ireland’s win came at a price with Bundee Aki red-carded for a dangerous hit that will surely take him out of the playoffs.

Referee Nic Berry shows Samoan hooker Seilala Lam of Samoa a yellow card against Ireland.

GETTY IMAGES

Ireland v Samoa: Irish great Brian O'Driscoll laments 'the big hit is gone'

Referee Nic Berry shows Samoan hooker Seilala Lam of Samoa a yellow card against Ireland.

Samoa weren’t angels either with hooker Seilala Lam yellow-carded for a challenge on Jacob Stockdale in a busy night for Australian referee Nic Berry.

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O’Driscoll, the former Irish skipper who loved a midfield confrontation, lamented: “The only thing you can say for the future is the big hit is gone – that big collision.

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland is taken high by Seilala Lam of Samoa leading to a yellow card for Lam during the Rugby World Cup match.

GETTY IMAGES

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland is taken high by Seilala Lam of Samoa leading to a yellow card for Lam during the Rugby World Cup match.

“It’s going to be all about leg tackling. The big shot is going to be ruled out of our game.”

O’Driscoll was commenting on Lam’s yellow card in particular, sensing an injustice there.

“Samoa will feel they have been hard done by in this World Cup. It’s their fifth yellow card. And I have to say with this one I don’t know what the tackler is meant to do if a player dips that low,” O’Driscoll pointed out in his analysis for ITV.

Ireland's Bundee Aki hits Samoa's Ulupano Seuteni in a high tackle during the Rugby World Cup Pool game.

AP

Ireland’s Bundee Aki hits Samoa’s Ulupano Seuteni in a high tackle during the Rugby World Cup Pool game.

“Look at how bent Lam’s knees are on the collision — yes, he’s made contact with Stockdale’s head but Stockdale has led with his head into the collision.

“It’s almost impossible for Lam to dip lower than that. In my eyes Lam’s done everything right.

“The mitigating circumstance is that Stockdale has dipped into the collision, and the referee, on the basis of what we’ve seen so far at this World Cup, is probably right, but it feels wrong.”

O’Driscoll said players and coaches needed to re-educate themselves around this crucial area now. But he warned it wouldn’t be easy given the speed that rugby is now played at.

“What players are going to need to do is control that last half-a-metre and the speed at which they go into the collision,” he told ITV.

“We have talked about the big hits being outlawed. I think you have to be in control of that space when you commit to it, because some varying movement of the head, popping up where you don’t anticipate it, could be the difference between you being off the pitch or staying on it.

Irish rugby great Brian O'Driscoll warns that the game is changing rapidly during the current World Cup in Japan.

GETTY IMAGES

Irish rugby great Brian O’Driscoll warns that the game is changing rapidly during the current World Cup in Japan.

“We have defensive coaches all the time talking about owning that space and making sure you are winning the collision either side of the ball.

“Defensively, it’s not in the mindset to stand up and go: ‘I’m not in a comfortable space here: I had better soak this one’.

“Because it’s like a concession from your perspective.

“But you just have to get your timing right earlier to make a better decision. We are talking about hundredths of a second. It’s a brutally hard thing to do.”

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